By Joe Piasecki
September 18, 2013 | 5:13 p.m.
Los Angeles County officials are moving ahead with plans to construct an $800,000 public skate park in La Crescenta.
The 10,000-square-foot concrete facility, located within Crescenta Valley Community Regional Park, is the brainchild of a teenage La Crescenta enthusiast who lobbied for years to see it built.
Cooper Iven, who graduated from Crescenta Valley High School this year, began pushing for the park in 2011 to give teens an alternative to skateboarding in commercial areas and other places where they didn’t always feel welcome.
“It was born out of me complaining that everyone sees skateboarders as a nuisance,” said Iven, now 18. “I hated walking into a store with my skateboard and having people look at me like I was doing something wrong.”
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved spending up to $163,500 on a contract for the design of the skate park, currently slated for an undeveloped patch of land adjacent to a parking area along Honolulu Avenue, said Tony Bell, spokesman for Supervisor Mike Antonovich.
For young skateboarders, the facility “will be safer and more convenient than other public areas,” Bell said.
A completion date for the project will be set after plans are completed, he said.
The project’s $800,000 estimated design and construction cost will be funded by Utility Users Tax revenue, according to a county report.
The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation will also incur a start-up cost of $16,000 for installation of spectator bleachers and ongoing operating costs of about $79,000 per year.
A proposal submitted by Iven calls for amenities that include multiple stairways and rails, flat-top “grind boxes” and a 4-foot-high miniature half-pipe.
The concept intentionally leaves out large bowls and trick ramps commonly found at other skate parks in order to reproduce the types of obstacles boarders tend to seek out in other areas, he said.
Iven formed a committee of young skateboarders to campaign for the skate park and received help with contacting officials from Mary O’Keefe, a Montrose resident and writer for the Crescenta Valley Weekly who knew Iven through volunteer work with a high school club and The Firehouse youth center.
“It’s great to see what kids can do when you give them a little respect,” she said.